Civil Forfeiture of Criminal Property
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Civil Forfeiture of Criminal Property

Legal Measures for Targeting the Proceeds of Crime

Edited by Simon N.M. Young

In this book, which is the first of its kind, leading experts examine the civil and criminal forfeiture systems in Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the fight against organized crime and international money laundering, there is a global trend for countries to enact forfeiture and confiscation laws that are applied through the civil process rather than the traditional criminal justice system. The authors gathered here analyze the appeal these civil forfeiture laws have for governments for their potential to disrupt criminal organizations and for their quantifiable benefits to the state. But without the usual safeguards of the criminal process, civil forfeiture laws are controversial, attracting constitutional challenges, particularly on human rights grounds.
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Chapter 3: Ireland: The Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Proceeds of Crime

Felix J. McKenna and Kate Egan


3. Ireland: a multi-disciplinary approach to proceeds of crime Felix J. McKenna and Kate Egan* Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity, There never was a cat of such deceitfulness and suavity. He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare: At whatever time the deed took place – MACAVITY WASN’T THERE! T. S. Elliot1 INTRODUCTION Civil forfeiture was introduced to Ireland in the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 (hereinafter 1996 Act), as part of the infamous ‘Summer Crime Package’ of that year. The drug problem, from a Garda Síochána (police) perspective,2 can be traced back to the 1960s when the misuse of amphetamines became widespread, particularly in Dublin.3 By the 1990s, organized criminal gangs involved in drug trafficking had started to engage in ‘gangland murders’ to protect their trade. Public alarm at the apparent rise in serious crime reached * Substantial parts of this chapter were published previously in Fachtna Murphy and Barry Galvin, ‘Targeting the financial wealth of criminals in Ireland: the law and practice’ in J. P. McCutcheon and D. Walsh (eds) (1999), The Confiscation of Criminal Assets: Law and Procedure, Dublin, Ireland: Round Hall Sweet & Maxwell, pp. 9–35, and are reproduced here with the permission of the authors of that piece. 1 From ‘Macavity – the Mystery Cat’, a poem by T. S. Elliot, quoted by O’Higgins J in Murphy v. GM PB PC Ltd. and GH, unreported, High Court, 4 June 1999; aff’d [2001] 4 IR 113 (SC) (hereinafter Murphy). 2 Meaning...

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